April 12th, 2013
The reason it may take a full year to see final rhinoplasty results is swelling. All rhinoplasty patients experience swelling, and this can take up to a year to subside. The tip of the nose is usually the area where swelling lasts the longest.
The degree of swelling depends on the techniques used during your rhinoplasty procedure, and on the resulting trauma to your nasal tissues and structure. If bones need to be broken or if large amounts of tissue are excised and/or lifted, you are likely to experience more swelling, bruising and other postoperative symptoms. The “open” rhinoplasty technique, whereby an incision is made in the skin at the base of the nose between the nostrils (the columella), is associated with more swelling and other postoperative symptoms than the “closed” procedure.
You can encourage faster healing by following your rhinoplasty surgeon’s postoperative instructions carefully, especially those pertaining to swelling. This may include the use of cold compresses, prescription and/or over-the-counter medications and natural remedies such as Bromelain or Arnica Montana. You should also take care to avoid bumping your nose, which can damage the results and prolong the healing process. Also avoid the sun for six weeks, as sun exposure can interfere with healing.
Note that certain anatomical factors, such as thicker nasal skin, may make some patients more susceptible to prolonged swelling, and therefore a longer healing period.
Talk to your rhinoplasty specialist for more information on the recovery process.